The Mayor of Jerusalem and the Minister of Interior will announce today in a press conference on the expansion of Jerusalem’s jurisdiction area with some 243 Dunams (60 Acres). Within the current political atmosphere, when every unilateral move by Israel in Jerusalem can cause a diplomatic crisis, this minor change in the Municipal borders of Jerusalem attracts a lot of public attention.
The area that is being added to Jerusalem is of an enclave of the Ramat Rachel Kibbutz. 77% of the 243 Dunams to be added to Jerusalem are West of the Green Line (187 Dunams). Some 56 Dunams are in the “No Man’s Land” that was set up between Israel and Jordan, where no side was allowed to enter or to use the area according to the 1949 ceasefire agreement.
This change in the jurisdiction of Jerusalem does not mean a dramatic change of the political situation between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel has de-facto annexed all of the “No Man’s Land” area (although there was never an official decision to do so), and since 1967, built villages and towns in those lands. In Jerusalem, the “No Man’s Land” was also used by Israel and the area that is now being added to Jerusalem was used by the Ramat Rachel Kibbutz for cultivation. As part of Jerusalem this land could be planned and used for housing.